Zebra Technologies has assembled an interesting group of technology companies. Far from its printer days, it promotes wireless infrastructure and worker empowerment often. Seemingly like most technologies, private 5G systems impact on manufacturing plants takes time to reach a critical mass. Relevant press releases come my way more often lately.

This news includes NTT Data announcing a strategic partnership with Zebra Technologies to accelerate innovation in the 5G device ecosystem (the current constraint to growth).

Under this multi-year agreement, NTT DATA and Zebra Technologies will co-innovate to drive the adoption of 5G devices, which is essential for Private 5G adoption. Together, the two companies will enable intelligent asset tracking that allows for real-time monitoring and management of assets in industrial and enterprise deployments, ensuring enhanced visibility, efficiencies, and security capabilities critical to Industry 4.0 supply chain management. 

The agreement establishes Zebra Technologies as a strategic partner within NTT DATA’s Device as a Service practice, making it easier for customers to access, upgrade, and simplify 5G device lifecycle management and support.

This news follows NTT DATA’s recent collaboration with Qualcomm, aimed to accelerate the evolution of the 5G device ecosystem. With enterprises accelerating digital transformation, more connectivity is needed to support Industry 4.0 applications and the adoption of AI at the edge.

By leveraging NTT DATA’s Private 5G leadership and Zebra Technologies’ expertise in intelligent data integration, asset management, and frontline coordination, the two companies aim to make the low latency and high-security features of Private 5G enabled devices easily accessible to frontline workers in the automotive, manufacturing, healthcare, and logistics industries.

Actually being used.

NTT DATA is deploying a Private 5G network throughout Hyster-Yale Group’s manufacturing operations. Hyster- Yale Group is also leveraging NTT DATA’s Device as a Service to gain visibility into assets and materials and improve communications within its facilities. This network will work with Zebra Technologies’ handheld mobile computers and tablets to track assets and materials as they enter and exit manufacturing sites, providing critical business intelligence, while also seamlessly connecting engineers, onsite teams, production lines, and materials storage locations. All of this comes together through a cost-effective deployment at scale efficiently managed through NTT DATA’s Device as a Service practice. 

Benefits of Device as a Services Model

OK, everyone searches for their “as a Service” model. The benefit to the supplier, of course, is reliable, consistent income. The benefit to the customer is, well, something, I suppose. Maybe no capital cost and easy out?

NTT DATA’s Device as a Service offers customers a comprehensive turnkey solution for managing the entire device lifecycle. It provides expert planning, procurement, configuration, deployment, ongoing support, analytics, repair management, and device retirement, all under the stewardship of a trusted partner. This allows customers to use a cost-effective per-user, per-month program model to consume technology products on a pay-per-user subscription basis instead of purchasing/owning the equipment. 

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